Epic Games is the company behind the incredibly popular battle royale game Fortnite. However, Epic Games has been facing a series of lawsuits from people claiming that the dance moves characters in the game perform are copies of dances they invented.
One such suit and the first to go to court is from a rapper called 2 Milly, whose real name is Terrance Ferguson. The rapper sued Epic Games claiming that the Fortnite dance called "Swipe It" is based on the dance he invented called "Milly Rock" and was used in the game without his permission. Epic has asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit stating that the suit is "fundamentally at odds with free speech principles."
Epic also claims in the suit that the ownership that Ferguson is trying to assert over his dance doesn't exist under current law. Epic stated in its motion for dismissal that no one can own a dance step. Specifically, Epic notes that copyright law is clear that individual dance steps and simple dance routines aren't protected by copyright.
Ferguson's attorney has stated that the rapper wasn't seeking copyright registration for a dance "move," rather he was seeking copyright on a choreographic work. Even if the dance is eligible for copyright protection, Epic Games notes that it's "Swipe It" dance and the "Milly Rock" dance are not the same. Epic goes into detail about the differences between the dances in its request for dismissal. There is no word from the court yet on if the case will be dropped. Plaintiffs in the other suits against Epic for dance moves are undoubtedly watching this case as it will have an impact on the other cases pending.